Rogers Communications and Bell Canada, which compete for telephone and cable customers, plan to build a Canada-wide wireless broadband network...

Share story

Rogers Communications and Bell Canada, which compete for telephone and cable customers, plan to build a Canada-wide wireless broadband network with the help of Kirkland-based Clearwire.

The network will cost C$200 million ($169.12 million) to build, No. 1 Canadian phone carrier Bell Canada and Rogers, the biggest cable-television and mobile-phone company, said in a statement yesterday.

The system will be equipped to offer high-speed Internet access, being called a precursor to the WiMax standard, to more than two-thirds of Canadians in about three years.

The companies partnered on the network because both had purchased stakes in Inukshuk Internet, which owns the rights to the broadband spectrum.

Most Read Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

Bell Canada acquired a 25 percent stake in Inukshuk in March by becoming a shareholder in NR Communications, controlled by Craig McCaw, the well-known wireless entrepreneur who is also behind Clearwire. At the same time, Bell Canada also invested $100 million in Clearwire and partnered with the company to provide voice capability over the broadband network.

Bell Canada announced plans yesterday to buy the 50 percent of NR Communications it doesn’t already own from companies controlled by McCaw, equal to a 50 percent stake in Inukshuk. Financial terms were not disclosed.